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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 10
Israel, Paris


Carol and David and the ancient wall surrounding Old Jerusalem  

Day 14


We were so exhausted we slept for about ten hours. Got up, dressed and enjoyed a delicious Israeli breakfast of figs, apricots, dates, herring, salmon, tuna, eggs, blintzes, halvah and strong coffee at the hotel.


Checked email at the hotel and sent a quick note off to wonderful Rabbi Eisen who had kindly and helpfully gave us many tips prior to the trip.


Wandered northeast a few blocks to the ancient walls of Old Jerusalem and entered through the Jaffa Gate. There are 8 gates to the old city – Zion Gate, Dung Gate, Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate, Herod’s Gate, Damascus Gate, New Gate and Jaffa Gate. The Golden Gate, the 8 th gate, is sealed pending the arrival of the Messiah.

On the way to the Old City of Jerusalem
On the way to the Old City of Jerusalem
Arab gentleman we came across on the way to the Old City of Jerusalem
Carol and David near the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem

Old Jerusalem is divided into four quarters – the Armenian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Christian Quarter. All of this within one square kilometer, with so many of the world’s holiest sites located within these limestone walls.

Carol at the Jewish Quarter

We spent a couple of hours wandering along the narrow shop-lined alleyways of the Armenian Quarter until we came to the Cardo, where I stopped to rest while Carol continued browsing. We have a “free” day today, so we are taking our time.


We then walked back to the Western Wall. As I stood there feeling the spirituality of this sacred place, an old rabbi approached me and placed his hand on my head and began to recite a prayer in Hebrew. At one point he stopped and asked for my father’s name, and then finished the blessing and asked for a donation, which I gladly provided and then snapped a photo.

David with a rabbi at the Western Wall
My hand on the stones of the Western Wall, near some prayers
Praying at the Western Wall
Rabbis and children at the Western Wall

Moving higher up to the Jewish Quarter’s shops we passed a replica of the Golden Menorah from the time of the Temple. There were many young children there guarded by heavily armed young Israelis.

Replica of the Golden Menorah from the time of the Temple
Young Israeli guard
Carol and David in the Jewish Quarter

We window shopped for quite a while until Carol decided to go back to a shop called Rivka where she bought a beautiful hamsa, which is a good-luck symbol and a blessing for a home. I took a photo of Carol with Rivka, the owner.

Rivka and Carol in Rivka's shop in the Jewish Quarter
Gentleman in the Jewish Quarter
Carol and David in the Jewish Quarter

On to the next shop where Carol bought another hamsa and a dreidel for Ryan, Carrie and Samantha. The proprietress, Eva, was very sweet and I took a photo of her with Carol.

Eva and Carol

At 2:30pm we sat in a café atop a hill high above the Old City and rested with cold drinks. We had a great view down into the area of Mount Moriah, site of Mohammed’s ascensions to Heaven, the El-Aqsa mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Mount of Olives.

Coke in Jerusalem
Dome of the Rock

It amazes us how so many people are armed here. At this café, the waiter has a .45 clipped to his belt, and this is quite commonplace.


We walked once more through the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter and the Armenian Quarter before leaving the Old City through the Jaffa Gate.

Sign at the Jaffa Gate

We then walked past the King David Hotel to the YMCA, where we took a look inside.

The YMCA of Jerusalem, near the King David Hotel
David near a sign at Jerusalem's YMCA

Then back to the hotel to rest and clean up after the heat of the day. It is sunny and quite warm. In the Old City, the cool breezes were most welcome.


We had connected with our friend Sari who is living in Jerusalem and had made plans to meet her at the German Colony at 7pm for dinner. We met Sari in the evening and sat at a restaurant called Olive, in the German Colony, and had a wonderful time visiting with her and hearing about her experiences living in Jerusalem. She told us that a week ago she became an Israeli citizen. Sari is bright, beautiful and sweet and we enjoyed spending time with her and we were sorry to have to say goodbye.

Carol, Sari and David

We walked back to the hotel along Emek Refa’im Street in the cool evening air high atop the hills of Jerusalem. When we arrived back at the hotel we bumped into Debbie and Robin, twins from Los Angeles we had met earlier in the morning, as well as Zoly Zamir and his daughter Yardina. We spent an enchanting hour listening as Zoly told us stories from his amazing memory. He fought with the Haganah in the 1940’s He was David Ben Gurion’s bodyguard. He speaks 7 languages. At 86 years of age, he has a grip like a vise. We hated to say Lilah Tov but Zoly was quite tired. We could have listened to his remembrances all night long. I begged him to consider writing a book and he told me that Steven Spielberg has interviewed him for the Shoa project. A truly charismatic and beautiful man, we will not forget him, and we are honored to have made his acquaintance. A true Israeli hero. We wished each other Zei Gazundt. You can read information about Zoly Zamir here.

Carol, Debbie, Zoly Zamin, Robin and Zoly's daughter Yardina
Yardina, Debbie, Zoly Zamin, Robin and David

At 10:00pm we fell into bed, already anticipating tomorrow’s excursion to the Dead Sea and Masada.


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